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3 Ways To Reset Windows Admin Password

Thursday, March 7th, 2013 by | Filed Under: Security Help

James from Washington, Missouri writes:

I frequently pick up used computers from yard sales, flea markets and such. The problem is…the password, of course. Is there a simple, easy and inexpensive way to log on and change the admin password or remove it?


Resetting Windows Password Using Offline NT Password & Registry Editor

Offline NT Password & Registry Editor is very fast tool compared to other Windows password recovery programs. Moreover, it is completely open source and free. It deletes the old password, so there is no need to access Windows at all. It works flawlessly with all versions of Windows XP, Vista and 7. It can reset passwords for 64 bit versions, too.


  1. First you need to visit their website and click Password reset CD/USB bootdisk: Instructions & image to download in “How to get it?” section.
  2. Scroll down the page and download file which is just about 3 Mb.
  3. Extract the ISO file from that zipped file and burn that ISO file to a disc.
  4. Restart your computer with that disc in the optical drive.
  5. Press Enter when boot prompt is shown and then wait for the program to load.
  6. You will see all the portions of your hard drive and then choose the correct hard drive partition where Windows is loaded. By default it will be the first one. Press Enter.
  7. Give the correct location of Windows Registry. By default it will show  Windows/System32/config. Press Enter.
  8. Choose Password reset [sam system security] option which by default is choice number 1. Press Enter.
  9. Enter the username you’d like to reset password. Press Enter.
  10. Now enter 1 to Clear (blank) user password and press Enter.
  11. If you do all the above steps correctly, a confirmation message will be displayed. Now type ! to quit editing and press Enter.
  12. Type q to quit the program. Press Enter.
  13. Type y to confirm all the changes permanently and then press Enter.
  14. Press Enter confirming that you do not wish to rerun the program.
  15. Remove the disk and restart computer. You will now be able to log in without password.

Resetting Windows Password Using Linux Live CD (mint)


You can use Linux live CD and a program named chntpw will do the rest. You don’t have to install that OS to your hard drive. I am showing you how to do it using Linux Mint.

  1. Visit Linux Mint website and download ISO. Burn it to a disc and boot up your computer using that bootable disc.
  2. Go to Menu>Accessories>Terminal.
  3. Type sudo apt-get update. Press Enter.
  4. Type sudo apt-get install chntpw.  Press Enter and keep that terminal open.
  5. From desktop go to Computer and then just open the drive where Windows is loaded. It will mount that drive.
  6. In the terminal type cat /proc/mounts. Hit Enter. It will give output like /dev/sda1 /media/CA123DD456EA6512. This long serial no will vary in your case. Change it accordingly in next command.
  7. Type cd /media/ CA123DD456EA6512. Hit Enter.
  8. Type cd Windows/System32/config/ and Press Enter.
  9. Type sudo chntpw SAM and Press Enter. You will get a menu with all users of the system. Default is Administrator. Type 1 and press Enter to clear user password.
  10. If you need to reset password for a specific user, type sudo chntpw -u username SAM and follow previous instructions.
  11. Close everything and reboot system.

Resetting Windows Password Using Sticky Keys

This is the best way if you don’t have a bootable password recovery disk or a Linux live CD. Although you can’t have access to encrypted files, encrypted email messages or stored passwords of Internet Explorer and network resources, still you can get into your system for sure.


  1. By using your Windows installation disk, boots up your computer.
  2. Click Repair your computer link for Vista and later OS or press R in case of XP after everything loads.
  3. Select the OS to repair. Click Next or Press Enter in case of XP.
  4. Click Command Prompt from the list of recovery tools.
  5. I presume your OS is installed in drive C. Replace C with appropriate drive letter for other cases. In the CMD type copy c:\windows\system32\sethc.exe c:\ and press Enter.
  6. Type copy /y c:\windows\system32\cmd.exe c:\windows\system32\sethc.exe and press Enter.
  7. Now close everything and reboot computer.
  8. Tap Shift five times to pop up Command Prompt.
  9. Type net user username password. Replace username with your username and password with a new password.
  10. Exit Command Prompt and you can log in with your new password.


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19 Responses to “3 Ways To Reset Windows Admin Password”

  1. Ronald Renaud says:

    Congratulations, now every thief knows how to bypass the Administrator password

  2. soumen says:

    Hey Ronald, understand your concern, but it’s out task to provide solutions. Proper usage of it is beyond our control.

  3. Eoninie says:

    Appreciated to share your ideas on reset Windows password. For resetting Windows password is a common things we usually meet.

  4. Reset Password Pro says:


  5. David Smith says:

    Everything looks good with your technique. But a friend forgot his password on a Dell XP5420, with 2 465G RAID0 hard drives and booting on a CD or usb doesn’t see the hard drives.
    Thanks Dave

  6. Bill says:

    I think in the first part of the above scenario you did not mention changing the boot menu so the computer boots off the CD…Or I wrong about this ?

  7. erika says:

    on acer computers hit f10 when windows starts booting. choose resset to factory default

  8. Computer Virus Removal Honolulu says:

    Just reset it to manufacturer settings. Usually alt f10 or 0 as you press the power button. This way you don’t end up with someone else’s computer virus and other problems

  9. Carl says:

    Thanks, great tip. Is there one for Win8 as well?

  10. kerry brownint says:

    Thank you very much.

  11. Carole Szepesi says:

    This worked perfectly for me, and I was able to reset the password. However, since resetting the password, no matter where I am in my computer, if I hit the shirt key 5 times in a row, it will reopen the command prompt all over again. How can I prevent this from happening?

  12. Ronald says:

    Dear Person;=>..

    I need help for a problem my ex-landlord has..
    His wife passed away recently & he does not have the Admin password for Win 8..
    I downloaded the file for USB flash drive…
    Here’s my problem;=>..
    “”3.Extract the ISO file from that zipped file and burn that ISO file to a disc.””
    I have several (9) items that are unzipped & I don’t see any obvious ISO file IDd..
    Which one do I burn to my flash drive ???
    I’m using “Rufus” for burning..

    I would appreciate a quick reply…

    THANK youi VERRRRY MUCH for your anticipated reply & help…

    Ron.M :-)

  13. Ronald says:


    There is another file that is larger;… (~18MB)
    Would the larger file be the correct/better one ???
    IF so which is the “ISO” file inside ???

    THANKS again…

    Ron… :-)

  14. Ronald ... says:


    I mistakenly said I downloaded in my 1st post & that I was having a problem with that file…
    I actually downloaded (~4MB) , & THAT is the one that I’m having trouble with…
    I also downloaded the larger file (~18MB) & can NOT get that one to work either !!!

    SORRY bout dat….

  15. Ronald says:


    I mistakenly said I downloaded in my 1st post & that I was having a problem with that file…
    I actually downloaded (~4MB) , & THAT is the one that I’m having trouble with…
    I also downloaded the larger file (~18MB) & can NOT get that one to work either !!!

    SORRY bout dat….

  16. Ronald says:

    Dear People;…

    OK , I got this fingered out !!!
    I was trying to use a flash drive as I do not have a CD write on my CD Drive..
    IF you go to the website ,
    & scroll down to where it says “Download” , there are 2 files for CD & 2 files for USB…
    Each has a 4 MB & a 18 MB file…
    The 2 “usb” files (4 MB & 18 MB) do NOT contain an ISO image & therefore do NOT & can NOT work…
    The 4 MB “CD” file DOES have a 4.48 MB ISO file that can be put on a flash drive..
    However , it did NOT change , alter or remove ANY passwords , not even the Administrator password I am after to correct…

    SORRY to have been a PIA about this , but , I thought you have a right to know…
    The CD file probably will work….

    Have a GREAT day & week… :-)

    Ron M

  17. Sandra says:

    I have tried the tricky keys but got access denied error. Later on I managed to bypass my win8 password with PCUnlocker Live CD.

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